March 15, 2010

Movie Chatter

When Sparkle Mama and I agreed to meet for a Friday night showing of Alice in Wonderland, it didn't occur to me that the theater would be sardine-packed with teenie boppers. It's probably wrong of me, but I tend to be nervous about viewing a movie with young people because they are, at times, noisy and texty.

I don't mind sitting through a cartoon with a bunch of chattering children. I expect that. It does bother me when young adults and sometimes even seemingly mature adults yak it up with each other, on their cell phones, or even in texts. I know texting isn't talking, but that little rectangular square of cell phone light is like a flitting mosquito distracting me from my enjoyment so that I'm no longer able to suspend my disbelief. I want to crush it.

Before Buckaroo, R and I had every other weekend free as Sweet P spent them with her dad, so he and I would see one or two movies in a weekend, but at some point we realized that we came away from the movie angrier with the audience than pleased with the show.

In fact the last movie I saw before popping out the Buckaroo was Music and Lyrics. Was it one of the best movies of all time? No. Was it going to win any Academy Awards? No. But I knew it was the last movie I was going to see in the theater for years, possibly, and I wanted to hear what the actors were saying.

The people behind me had other ideas and clearly wanted me to hear their critique of the movie, which they thought was wretched. Why didn't they just leave? I considered asking them. I finally shushed them, and when the lights came on I stood up and flung by whale of a belly in their faces. Well, I wish I had.

Here's what NPR movie reviewer Linda Holmes has to say about it:
"Here's the thing: If I'm at the movies, I'm not there to think about you. You are there to think about you (apparently), and the difference in our level of absorption in the film is a little like the difference between deep sleep and light sleep -- by the time you talk, you've already pulled away from the movie; you're prepared to hear yourself talk; only your light sleep is disturbed. But for me, you talk out of nowhere; you yank on my attention like you've suddenly got a fishhook in my mouth. And once you do it, I know you might do it again, and in reality, I can never get back into that deep sleep again."

Somehow I had forgotten about my audience frustration until Sparkle Mama and I were walking out of the theater, and I realized that we were discussing the movie instead of the audience. In fact, I haven't been annoyed by an audience once since moving to Massachusetts.

I don't know if the difference is a city/small town thing or an east coast/west coast thing, but whatever it is, I like it! So there's one reason for staying here. That and the Marshmallow Fluff.

1 comment:

Lee Anne said...

The reason, I dislike Movie theaters. And when I was young, my mom had a roach crawl in her bag, I've never felt the same about sitting in the dark with lots of food for the critters under me. Oh and my height, if even a 5'5 person sits in front of me, I am kinda blocked. So I just don't get jazzed about going.